Christopher Sullivan, Ph.D.; LPC
Director of Health, Counseling, and Disability Access Services
As the Clinical Director for Counseling Services, Dr. Chris Sullivan is the chief mental health officer on campus. He has over 20 years of experience working with college students and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri. He completed his doctorate in counseling at UMSL, with an emphasis on multicultural counseling. His clinical work emphasizes a holistic approach to mental health, based on a strengths-oriented perspective focused on well-being and healing while taking into consideration the impact of culture, relationships, and the need for social justice in society. A proud native son of west-central Wisconsin, he loves spending time with his family, squeaky cheese curds, and getting (kind of) lost in the woods. And, yes, he does miss cold winters.
Tanadja "TJ" Barber, ATR, PLPC
Art Therapist & Outreach Coordinator
TJ Barber is an Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Originally from the state of Georgia, she received a Master of Art Therapy Counseling degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL. During her time as a clinician in community mental health, she enjoyed working with children and adolescents by utilizing Art and Play Therapy. She is excited to join UMSL and work with our students. TJ has significant experience in interpersonal violence, minority stress, sex/sexuality, and LGBTQIA+-related concerns. In therapy, TJ hopes to facilitate a safe and supportive environment to examine the inner critic and soften its tune to be more conducive to a sense of wellness. As an Art Therapist, she utilizes creativity to help express emotions and improve self-esteem and overall quality of life. She believes art materials come with inherent healing properties and that "scribbles and stick figures are valuable, too". In addition to individual and group therapy, TJ serves as UMSL's Outreach Coordinator, coordinating campus community events, workshops, and other opportunities. TJ enjoys cooking, crocheting, listening to music, and playing "The Sims" in her free time.
Abigail Gazvoda, M.Ed, PLPC
Abigail Gazvoda received her Master of Education with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Louisiana State University and is a provisionally licensed professional counselor in Missouri. In the fall, Abigail will begin her journey toward a Ph.D. in Counseling at UMSL. She has experience working with diverse populations in a variety of settings including intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, and correctional/detention facilities. Her interests include substance use treatment, grief and loss, behavior change, CBT, and ACT. Through a person-centered and solution-focused approach, Abigail assists individuals in working toward achieving their goals while also improving holistic wellness. In her free time, Abigail enjoys hiking, camping, watching football (Geaux Tigers!), gardening, reading, and cuddling with her cat, Willow.
Melisa Martinez, MA
Staff Clinician & Multicultural Specialist
Melisa Martinez is a clinician and a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at Auburn University. Melisa also serves as the Multicultural Specialist and helps coordinate diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts within Counseling Services and the greater UMSL community. She has worked in several university counseling centers the most recent being at Norwich University. Melisa has a particular interest in working with students to address complex and racial trauma, identity concerns, substance use, and interpersonal issues. Melisa incorporates a variety of therapeutic styles in her work, including emotion-focused, strength-based, multicultural, and systems approaches. The work that Melisa does is particularly meaningful to her because of her upbringing and life journey as a first-generation Latina college graduate and the daughter of an immigrant. Melisa is passionate about helping students cope with the challenges of college so that they can graduate, achieve their dreams, and be successful. Melisa credits much of her success to the support and encouragement she has received from mentors, professors, friends, and family. In her free time, Melisa enjoys swimming, going to concerts, figuring out where to get the best tacos, cheering for Auburn football, and spending time with her Chihuahua, Nani.
Karen Munkel, MSW, LCSW
Senior Staff Therapist & Interim Training Coordinator
Karen Munkel received her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She specializes in working with those who have experienced trauma, including complex, childhood, and religious trauma. Karen practices EMDR, emotion-focused, and person-centered therapy, among others. She enjoys working with a wide variety of people and issues that include sexuality, gender, interpersonal and relationship issues, issues with identity or spirituality, grief, depression, and anxiety. She is invested in a holistic clinical approach that incorporates using existing strengths and encouraging new ideas to move towards a greater sense of well-being and personal fulfillment. In counseling, Karen hopes to create a warm and supportive atmosphere to allow collaboration in working toward the client’s goals. She enjoys open expression about the therapy process and values clients as leaders in the change process. She is a St. Louis native who loves to travel any chance she can get. Karen has a background in theatre, having worked as a Stage Manager in New York City, and is a believer in putting art, inspiration, and expression into our everyday lives in whatever form it takes.
Mindy Stratmann-Sebol, LPC
Senior Staff Therapist/Victim Advocate
Mindy Stratman-Sebol received her master’s in Professional Counseling from McKendree University in Lebanon, IL, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of MO. She is an UMSL alumni having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Mindy serves as a Senior Staff Therapist within Counseling Services using an eclectic approach that involves meeting the client where they are, identifying and incorporating their strengths while encouraging new ideas to foster self-improvement and well-being. She enjoys working with a wide variety of issues that include depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, interpersonal issues, sexuality, gender, LGBTQ, and multicultural issues. Mindy also serves as the Victim Advocate for the campus providing support and assistance to those students who have experienced interpersonal violence and are going through the Title IX process. She strives to create a warm and open environment where clients feel safe to be their authentic selves as they work towards their goals. She enjoys using humor and gentle sarcasm to ease clients’ uncertainties and initial hesitations towards change, the therapy process, and increasing self-compassion. She enjoys spending time with her partner and child, friends, her three dogs, spending time outdoors, when it is not too hot, and trying to figure out how to move the beach closer to St Louis.
Kylie Mirabella is a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student at James Madison University in Virginia. She describes her counseling style as person-centered with an existential swing, including aspects of motivational interviewing and solution-focused brief therapy for a strengths-based approach. Kylie has experience working with individuals experiencing stress and anxiety, depression, work-related concerns, substance use disorders, and more. Other topics of interest include navigating cultural and racial identity, dealing with issues of transition and belonging, and comorbid substance use disorders. In her free time, she enjoys journaling or magazine collaging, making chai tea lattes and chocolate chip cookies, and bottom fragging on Valorant.
Malgorzata "Gosia" Moll
Malgorzata Moll is a graduate student in clinical psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is a member of the American Psychological Association. In her work, she focuses on trauma, depression, and neuropsychology. Her clinical work emphasizes the physical, social, and spiritual well-being of an individual in a multicultural context. Her approach focuses on evidence-based practice. She has served as a cognitive and clinical research assistant at SIUE. She has taught psychology and mentored many students. She is currently working on her thesis in clinical psychology. In her free time, she enjoys horse riding and hiking.
Christian Scott received her BA in Communication from UMSL and is currently a student at Lindenwood University obtaining her MA in Clinical Mental Health. Christian became inspired to pursue counseling after interning at Safe Connections and experiencing their impact on the community. She wanted to come back to UMSL for her MA internship as it was the first place she received counseling herself. Her philosophy comes from a humanistic and experiential approach; believing that one has the ability to shape their way of life. She is also interested in strength-based, solution-focused methods. Her goals are to support young adults as they transition through life’s events and to one day go into private practice. Christian aims to help those experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, grief, relationship, and spirituality concerns. In her spare time, Christian enjoys creating music, karaoke, spending time with her family, walking in the park, playing video games, finding good Pinterest recipes, and watching movies.
In Loving Memory
Erin Vasconcelles, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Lead & Training Coordinator
Erin Vasconcelles, who served 13 years as a clinical psychologist in HCDAS, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. She was 44.
Dr. Erin Vasconcelles received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University and was a Licensed Psychologist in Missouri. She worked in many university counseling centers throughout her career and at UMSL since 2010. Erin had many clinical interests including the treatment of anxiety and depression, interpersonal relationships, and identity-related concerns. She also had significant training and interest in sports psychology and performance-related concerns. Erin’s clinical approach was best described as warm, client-centered, and strengths-based. She saw her role as a therapist as assisting her clients as they identify their therapeutic goals, explore the cultural and relational contexts which shape their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values, and learn skills that will support the process of change. In addition to providing individual therapy, Erin also served as the Training Coordinator for the training program for advanced graduate students and provides individual and group supervision. In her free time, Erin was an avid sports fan and can be found rooting for her beloved St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers. She was passionate about growing orchids and enjoyed spending time with her family, friends, and furry children.
Erin was well respected by her colleagues and throughout the UMSL community, and her loss will be deeply felt by so many. We will all miss her compassion, organization, tenacity, and dry sense of humor.